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1 in 3 foreign medical, dental school grads pass Korean license exam
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2018.06.25 12:10
  • Updated 2018.06.25 16:12
  • comments 1

The acceptance rate for the Korean national medical licensing examination stood at 30 percent for those who graduated from foreign medical or dental schools.

Rep. Kim Seung-hee of the opposition Liberty Korea Party released the data submitted by the Korea Health Personnel Licensing Examination Institute and Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service.

According to the data, a total of 813 graduates from medical or dental schools abroad have taken the national medical licensing examination in Korea since 2003. By country, 516 graduates were from medical schools in the Philippines, 133 from the U.S., and 35 from Germany.

Out of the 813 applicants, only 246 were able to obtain a medical license, indicating a 30 percent pass rate. By country, 76 medical license obtainers were from universities in the U.S., 66 were from schools in the Philippines, and 22 were from those in Germany.

These numbers showed a stark contrast to the 94.8 percent five-year acceptance rate for the Korean applicants graduating the domestic medical and dental schools, according to the committee.

Rep. Kim pointed out that the related agencies have not made public qualifications for the graduates of foreign medical and dental schools to apply for Korean licenses, infringing on the people’s right to know.

Currently, only those who graduated from one of the 241 foreign medical institutions acknowledged by the minister of health and welfare can take the medical licensure examination here. However, Kim noted that the approved universities remain undisclosed and the examination process that confirms the eligibility of potential test takers is also unclear.

“The nondisclosure of the foreign applicants’ qualifications could restrict people’s right to know,” Rep. Kim said. “We must protect the rights of applicants by making the criteria clear through legal revision.”

About 70 percent, or 48 out of 68 doctors who passed the Korean licensing exam after graduating foreign schools are working at domestic hospitals with 30 percent of them at superior general hospitals, 26 percent at community clinics, and 21 percent at general hospitals.


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